Long term health conditions

Lynsey - Interview 14

Age at interview: 23

Brief outline: Lynsey was diagnosed with Cystic fibrosis at birth and says that her parents and now her husband are most supportive. She and her husband would love to have a child and they have discussed all the implications involved in such a decision.

Background: Lynsey lives with her husband and works full-time as an Expert Patient Adviser for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

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Lynsey was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth. She says that, for her parents, bringing her up meant a lot of organising. This included learning to do her physiotherapy, taking her to have her treatments at hospital, making sure that she was eating properly, giving her medication, etc. She says that these are time-consuming, routine tasks and her parents coped really well. 

When she started school she found it a supportive environment. Every day at lunchtime she had to go to the headmaster's office to collect her Creon tablets and her teacher made sure that she was first in the queue to get her food. At primary school although she felt special, she also felt appreciated, and it was not until her teenage years at secondary school, when her peers began to ask questions and a few called her 'druggy Lynsey', that she realised that she was living with a life-threatening condition.

As a teenager she found out that she might not live very long and that was an extremely upsetting experience. She remembers that she began to 'rebel' against having cystic fibrosis by not complying with her treatment. But this attitude was short-lived, as she understood that she risked health complications that would make it difficult for her to achieve her goal of going to university. Her parents encouraged her and reminded her to take her tablets and do her physiotherapy but otherwise left her to it.

She said that the transitional stage of moving from a children's to an adult's clinic takes place alongside other significant events in a teenager's life and that it can be both an exciting, but also a scary, experience. A teenager has many things to think of like GCSE's, deciding about career choices, worrying about boyfriends, etc, and as a result health and treatment may not be top of their priority list during the teen years.

Lynsey says that so far she has achieved everything she wanted; going to university, doing the job she loves, getting married but the one thing missing is having a child. She and her husband would love to have a child and they have discussed all the implications involved in such a decision.   


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